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The evolution of digital libraries as socio-technical systems

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Introduces and orients participants to digital libraries as socio-technical systems--that is, systems based on the interplay of technology, information, and people. The objective is to expose thematic connections between digital library infrastructure, cultural heritage and scholarly collections, social forces, and online community building. Key challenges of the current environment include interoperability, community engagement, intellectual property rights, and sustainability. Invited presentation for the Nimitiz Library staff, US Naval Academy.

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The evolution of digital libraries as socio-technical systems

  1. 1. The evolution of digital libraries as socio-technical systems Presented at Nimitz Library United States Naval Academy December 14, 2015 by Karen Calhoun
  2. 2. What’s a socio-technical system? 212/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  3. 3. A question for later discussion Consider: Libraries have been defined along a continuum, from definitions emphasizing technology and/or collections toward those emphasizing their social (people) aspects. Question: Where would you place Nimitz Library on this continuum, and in what ways is the library evolving (or not) to emphasize its social roles, for example, information fluency, or individual empowerment? 3 Focus on collections Focus on community engagement 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  4. 4. Chapter 3 “Key themes and challenges in digital libraries” Open access pre-print: https://ecommons.cornell.edu/ handle/1813/39195 412/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  5. 5. Differing perspectives on DLs Actual or potential users of DLs DL builders Librarians and libraries Publishers, professional societies, A&I services … Computer and information scientists Technologists Experts in collaboration technology Educators 5 ? 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  6. 6. “Digital libraries” defined 1. A field of research and practice with participants from many disciplines and professions, chiefly the computer, information and library sciences; publishing; the cultural heritage sector; and education. 2. Systems and services, often openly available, that (a) support the advancement of knowledge and culture; (b) contain managed collections of digital content (objects or links to objects, annotations and metadata) intended to serve the needs of defined communities; (c) often use an architecture that first emerged in the computer and information science/library domain and that typically features a repository, mechanisms supporting search and other services, resource identifiers, and user interfaces (human and machine). 6 Technology Collections Communities Source of definition: Exploring Digital Libraries, p. 18 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  7. 7. Thematic framework of core topics 7 Image source: Exploring Digital Libraries, p. 64. ©2014. Used with permission. Technology Collections Communities 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  8. 8. Interoperability and its facets 8 Image: "INTERoperability" by Axelsaffran - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:INTERoperability.png#/media/File:INTERoperability.png 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  9. 9. Some aspects of interoperability • Many “islands” of content • “Deep web” • Three dimensions: • Getting disparate systems to work together in real time • Enabling software to work on different systems • Supporting the exchange of content 912/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  10. 10. A continuum of interoperability Superficial uniformity Syntactic interoperability Semantic interoperability 1012/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  11. 11. Semantic web approach: Google Knowledge Graph 1112/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  12. 12. Semantic web approach: MusicBrainz & the BBC 12 http://www.bbc.co.uk/music 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  13. 13. Community engagement 13 Image: "Social Network Diagram (segment)" by DarwinPeacock, Maklaan. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Social_Network_Diagram_(segment).svg#/media/File:Social_Network_Diagram_(segment).svg 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  14. 14. 14 An example: Notre Dame Center for Digital Scholarship “The Center for Digital Scholarship serves as a “hub” that enhances the teaching, learning, and research process in every academic discipline” http://library.nd.edu/cds/ EXPERTISE – metadata, GIS, digital initiatives, subject expertise SERVICES – data analysis, data management planning, text mining, digitization, workshops STUDIOS – 3D printing, scanners, digitization PARTNERSHIPS – Research Computing, Office of Research 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  15. 15. Participatory collection-building, roadshows, collecting days ... 15 http://www.nowseethis.org/peopleshistory Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA Source of slide: Aaron Brenner, my co-author for “Engaging Your Community Through Cultural Heritage Digital Libraries.” http://www.slideshare.net/amarintha/supporting-digital-scholarship-engaging-your-community- through-cultural-heritage-digital-libraries 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  16. 16. “Digital co-curation” 16 “Engaging directly with how the war is experienced and felt in the present …” – Ross Wilson, 2012 “When we launched in late April, 2011, our sights were set on the approximately 9,000 menus photographed several years ago for inclusion in the NYPL Digital Gallery. Volunteers transcribed those in about three months!” From 2008-2012 (4 years since release): • 60K volunteer text correctors • 92M lines of text corrected in 4M articles Holley, Rose. 2012. “Building and Managing Online Communities.” Presented at the Web 2.0 Workshop, International Congress of Archives, Brisbane, Australia, August. http://www.slideshare.net/RHmarvellous/building-and-managing-online-communities12 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  17. 17. Intellectual property rights 17 Image: Public domain. 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  18. 18. Impact of the current legal framework • Traditional copyright law misaligned with the digital era • Re-use and exchange of metadata and digital content • What is lawful to digitize and preserve • National legal deposit programs • High costs of compliance with scholarly content license terms • Complexity and costs of system development 1812/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  19. 19. Issues associated with copyright • Public domain and orphan works • Mass digitization • Digital preservation • Scholarly communications and open access • E-resource management (licensing, user authentication, … ) • New options for content distribution (Creative Commons, Open Data Commons, etc.) 1912/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  20. 20. Sustainability 20 Image source: Exploring Digital Libraries, p. 83 (figure 3.2) ©2014. Used with permission. 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  21. 21. Digital libraries and the social web The advent of the social web provides an opportunity to shift the focus and core assumptions of digital libraries … Away from: Their collections and information processes (selecting, organizing, providing access, etc.) In favor of: New, community-centered ways of thinking about services, expectations and potential social roles. 2112/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  22. 22. What is the social web? The phrase social web refers collectively to the websites, tools, and services that facilitate interactions, collaboration, content creation and sharing, contribution and participation on the web. PEOPLE E-mail, discussion forums, bookmarking, wikis, blogs, microblogs, media sharing, social networks … MACHINES Web services, APIs, mashups, mobile apps, semantic web/linked data, Internet of Things (IoT) 2212/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  23. 23. Changing community expectations 23 When individuals who use social sites and tools approach libraries, including digital libraries, they bring their social web expectations with them. The digital libraries that continue to operate from a traditional, collections-centered service model (that is, nearly all of them) are now faced with finding their place in the fast-moving, chaotic information space of the social web. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lukew/10453074195/ CC BY 2.0 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  24. 24. “The library is a growing organism”—Ranganathan 24 Europeana Network. 2014. “Europeana Strategy 2020: ‘We Transform the World with Culture’: Europeana Strategy 2015-2020.” http://strategy2020.europeana.eu/ See also: DPLA. 2015. “Digital Public Library of America: Strategic Plan, 2015 through 2017.” http://dp.la/info/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/DPLA-StrategicPlan_2015-2017-Jan7.pdf From portal to platform … “People want to re-use and play with the material, to interact with others and participate in creating something new.” Access “If we can make material available online … we’ll start to see the benefits for society and the economy.” 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  25. 25. Over to you! Consider: “Digital libraries” have been defined along a continuum, from definitions emphasizing technology and/or collections toward those emphasizing their social (people) aspects. Question: Where would you place Nimitz Library on this continuum, and in what ways is the library evolving (or not) to emphasize its social roles, for example, information fluency, or individual empowerment? 25 Focus on collections Focus on community engagement 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  26. 26. Some possibilities to consider? • Needs assessment of your intended audiences? • Environmental scan: look at examples in other organizations? • Inventory your digital collections to identify opportunities to make them more social and aligned with community needs/practices? • Reach out, look for willing partners and pilot/demo projects? 26 What else? 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun
  27. 27. No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main. Meditation XVII, John Donne Thank you! karencal129@gmail.com 27 Image: public domain 12/14/2015 Karen Calhoun

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